Sunday, February 21, 2016
Wage gap: One Hillary speech more than average CEO salary
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's charge that corporate CEOs earn 300 times more than their workers isn't just wrong. It hides another very real wage gap: She earns more in just one speech than the average American CEO in a year.
Mark J. Perry, a University of Michigan professor and author of the American Enterprise Institute's popular Carpe Diem blog, did the fact-checking of Clinton's numbers and came up with that result.
The average CEO, using Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, makes $216,100. Clinton's speaking agent, the Harry Walker Agency Inc., charged about $275,000 a speech and packaged three for Wall Street's Goldman Sachs at $675,000.
Perry used the BLS average salary for all CEOs, not just the top ones Clinton likes to cite.
And about that 300-1 wage gap Clinton even touted in an ad? Perry found that the average worker salary is $48,920, about what it was in 2009. That translates into an apples-to-apples wage gap of 4.4-to-1.
According to Perry:
"If we want an accurate 'apples-to-apples' comparison, then shouldn't we really compare the average CEO in the US to the average American worker? In 2014, there were 21,550 Chief Executives working full-time "managing a company or enterprise" and those CEOs earned an average annual salary of $216,100 according to the BLS. That's about the same annual salary of $201,030 for the average orthodontist.
"The average private full-time American worker earned $48,920 in 2014 (based on an average hourly wage of $24.46). That would give us an 'Average CEO-to-Average-Worker Pay' ratio of only 4.4-to-1 in 2014. That ratio has been stable over the last 8 years at an average of 4.4-to-1 between 2007 and 2014."